New Owner Member With Questions

Hi there, I’m a new user. I joined in the late winter and had a great, successful house sitter in April. I had posted a sit for July, and had several inquiries and then one sitter agreed and confirmed to do it, only to find out later that she wasn’t really available. When I released her from the housesit dates I have not had other inquiries on the sit! What happened? No one wants to sit in July? Or is it somehow hidden from view? I have looked several times, logged in a sitter and can see it… Worrisome, as I really need a sitter in July! Also, on the site, it says “boosted” - not sure what that means or if it can be “re-boosted”

What advice do you have for me?

Heidi

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Hi @HeidiL and welcome to the forum. If you read Sitter/owner ratios it will give you some insight into the current status. You haven’t mentioned what country you’re in, so that has some bearing on things too.

In that same post you will see Angela’s 10 tips on how to get most success with your listing. Some tweaks can make all the difference to your listing.

Those who have standard or premium accounts can boost their listing once. That will refresh the listing to the first page of listings again.

I would suggest you add your listing to your forum username, so that forum members can give you some constructive feedback. I’ll add a link below on how to do that:

How to embed your listing into your forum username

Francine,
Voluntary Forum Moderator

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Thank you Francine! I’ve added my listing, hopefully I’ll get feedback from colleagues here on the site. I’m in the US - Washington state, I recognize we may be short of sitters!

Heidi

Hi @HeidiL I’ve taken a look at your listing. I would suggest you remove the tag that says ‘sitters need a car’. Instead, perhaps say that you are unable to provide a vehicle. Whenever you add that sitters need a car, you exclude those sitters who do not have a vehicle.

I would suggest you say that there are a variety of shops and amenities within easy walking distance. I would add details of any public transit, and distance from any major transport links. Then add that a car would be needed to visit … and then add those details you’ve included.

It’s good to add details (time or distance) of how long you walk the dogs, and if they can be walked together.

Francine has given great suggestions. Your pets are adorable and your home looks lovely. One thing that might be keeping sitters from applying is that the frequency of potty breaks does not allow much time for exploring the area without having to rush back to do the potty breaks. Could you arrange for a dog Walker to come once or twice a week for the noon break to allow sitters more freedom? Good luck!

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@HeidiL one of the suggestions in Angela’s top 10 tips list is ‘don’t pass on new sitter members’. I note you said Washington state may be short on sitters, so I did a test run. Using your location, dates, and pets, I came up with 54 sitters. As you are relatively new here, I’ll use an example of two sitters that I would approach:

Notice the difference in symbols, although subtle. The ones on the left are (external) references and on the right are (THS) reviews. These tell me that the sitters on the left have made the effort to get three reviews, as is suggested. Those on the right have one review, so may still be interested in a local sit.

If you message anyone, please check their calendar beforehand to make sure your dates don’t have black lines through them, as those show the sitters are booked for THS sits.

It’s worth putting the effort in, as you may just find your ideal sitters. Good luck. :slightly_smiling_face:

Welcome, Heidi. I would say it’s a little early, except for people who are full time sitters (or more less so) who like to lock in their plans.

For me, I like to get past the first summer holiday weekend before I think about the week of July 4th. :slight_smile:

Great point, just added that!

2 Likes

Great points and I’m busy making those changes!

Hi Heidi. I’m a sitter and I’ll be in Europe in July so I can’t sit for you, but I used to live in Bellingham and worked in Mount Vernon so of course I have some suggestions. I haven’t owned a car going on ten years now so I’m going to talk about sitting without a car.

You live in a beautiful area with lots of mass transportation. If your house is within walking distance of the co-op (great co-op BTW) then a person can walk to the Transportation Hub. From that station a sitter can take a bus into Bellingham and Seattle or take local buses throughout Skagit and Island Counties. Amtrak also has a train passing through that station that runs on the prettiest route along Puget Sound from Vancouver, BC to Seattle with stops along the way. If you are willing to make an occasional arrangement for a sitter to leave your pets for a half a day, I can see that someone would love this. Also, sitters often arrive a few days before or after a sit to visit folks or places as a tourist. My other suggestion is to proofread your listing. I think you meant to say “without a car” rather than “with a car” in your Home and Location paragraph. Or maybe not. You know better than me. Good luck, I think you’ll find a sitter.

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Thank you Annie for catching that typo and for the additional ideas! Appreciated!

Just a heads up that Amtrak canceled service all the way to Vancouver in March 2020 and it is still not running (they’re now saying maybe by December) so @HeidiL you probably shouldn’t add this to your listing. Greyhound bus is doing the full route to Vancouver again now though.

Thanks for the catch, Meow. I was planning on taking the train myself, in September. Now I’ll probably take the Amtrak bus.

For the OP (Original Poster) and a Moderator, I have a search saved for all of Washington State (no dates specified). I don’t see your Mount Vernon listing when I check the saved search. Can someone explain this? Thanks.

Hi Heidi. I have done several sits in Bellingham and it’s one of my favorite places to visit and I actually have a THS sit lined up there at the end of July. Apologies as I’m not sure which listing was yours, but I saw several ads for homes around that time that seemed lovely and with sweet pets, but I opted for one that did offer a car. For me part of the draw of Bellingham, besides the great community, is the amazing hiking that’s available. This is especially true if I’m doing a sit that has active dogs as I love to be able to take them up to the Chuckanuts and can’t do that in a rental car, plus a rental car is just too expensive. So just my two cents from somebody who has done several houses in Bellingham and hopes to continue to in the future. There may be many reasons that you aren’t able to offer a car to a sitter, but that for me was the deciding factor of which of the sits I chose to apply for. Hope that’s helpful.

Hi @AnnieNai and thanks for the feedback about the listing. If I remember correctly, @Angela-HeadOfCommunity did do an adjustment for this listing yesterday so it should be displaying correctly now. If you find it isn’t, please direct message Angela. Thanks.

Francine,
Voluntary Forum Moderator